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Efforts in combating cybercrime, ETCIO SEA | #cybercrime | #computerhacker


The dark web economy is a large, obscure marketplace that thrives in the internet’s shadows, powered by the anonymity afforded by tools such as the Tor network and cryptocurrencies.

It’s similar to a digital black market bazaar, where vendors offer their products from behind a shroud of secrecy, and consumers stroll the virtual aisles looking for goods and services that may be difficult to get elsewhere.

From illegal drugs and counterfeit goods to stolen data and hacking tools, the dark web economy is a sophisticated ecosystem encompassing a wide range of businesses and catering to an equally diversified clientele.

A growing number of criminals in Southeast Asia are likely to use the Tor darknet to engage in the full spectrum of unlawful activities available on the Darkweb. It includes purchasing and selling drugs, cybercrime toolkits, fake passports, fake cash, online child sexual exploitation material, stolen credit card numbers, and personally identifiable information obtained through data breaches.

Dark Web Services

The ability of the dark web to conceal users’ identities has proven to be a double-edged sword, allowing hackers, scammers, and other crooks to operate with relative impunity. Here are a few examples of how the dark web has affected cybersecurity.

● Ransomware as a service: Monthly or yearly subscriptions to ransomware that have already been configured.

● The sale of server access: Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) login information is sold per server through a customisable search tool.

● Renting infrastructure: Computing resources are rented for botnets and denial-of-service attacks, which demand a lot of processing power.

● Selling PayPal and credit card accounts: Account login information is sold to cyber criminals for a small portion of the balance on each PayPal and credit card account.

Decentralised Marketplaces is the New Wave of Resilience

The dark web community has begun constructing more decentralised platforms in response to law enforcement efforts to shut down illicit marketplaces. By dispersing control and data among a network of nodes instead of depending on a single server, these decentralised marketplaces promise to be more resilient to outages.

The Rise of Cryptocurrencies is Fueling the Dark Web Economy

The rise in popularity and use of cryptocurrency has profoundly impacted the dark web. Bitcoin and Monero, for example, enable anonymity and secrecy, making them an appealing option for dark web transactions.

Safeguard against dark web cyber threats

Identity theft monitoring is crucial for preventing the misuse of your personal information. Use a reputable dark web monitoring service to detect and anticipate cybersecurity risks. These theft monitoring services examine cybercriminal hotspots like illegal marketplaces and other cybercriminal forums. They keep an eye out for stolen data and additional information about organisations or employees. They also monitor dump sites like Pastebin, where anonymous users can submit material such as stolen confidential papers, emails, databases, and other sensitive data.

Our Digital Footprint Intelligence Report answers these questions as its experts compile a tailored analysis of existing vulnerabilities, with further scoring and comprehensive risk evaluation based on the CVSS base score. The product enables users to search the Surface and Dark Web for near real-time information on global security events threatening their assets and for exposed sensitive data on restricted underground communities and forums.

Best Practices to Explore the Dark Web

Understanding the dark web can aid cyber security personnel, especially those directly defending sensitive systems from cyber threats. While the dark web can be a fascinating place to visit, it’s critical to prioritise your safety and protection when delving into this digital underworld.

● Always use reliable and unique passwords. If you have too many accounts to remember, utilise a password manager to help you keep them under supervision.

● Before entering your credentials online, always double-check that you are precisely where you want to be. For example, the page should not be believed if the URL is misspelt or appears to be a nonsensical bunch of characters and numbers.

● Only allow access to confidential records to those who genuinely need it.

● Avoid the dark web unless you are completely sure you can tell the difference between a forum for human rights activists and one for hackers.

● Antimalware and antivirus protection are both essential for preventing bad actors from exploiting you. The dark web is rife with information theft from malware-infected users. Attackers can use tools like keyloggers to acquire your data and enter your machine from anywhere.

We must embrace the Future of the Dark Web

The dark web’s future is unpredictable and fraught with both opportunities and challenges. As we traverse this ever-changing terrain, it will be critical for all stakeholders, including law enforcement, lawmakers, and the cybersecurity community, to develop innovative solutions and tactics to guarantee that the dark web remains a safe and secure space for all users. Southeast Asian countries must increase their professional operational expertise of darknet networks, services, cryptocurrency investigations, and intelligence gathering. It will enhance national security, international cooperation, and confidence in preventive cyber-diplomacy.

Adrian Hia is Managing Director for APAC, Kaspersky. The views in this article are personal and do not represent the organisation’s views.

  • Published On Aug 15, 2023 at 05:00 AM IST

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